The immune system is designed to detect and attack foreign agents that are harmful to the body to help prevent infections and protect it from cancer and other diseases.1 However, the immune system may fail to distinguish between self and non-self (pathogens, cancer), or effectively regulate responses (autoimmunity, inflammation).
Cancer can evade an immune response by disguising itself as normal cells or by producing signals that suppress an immune response.1
Autoimmune and inflammatory disorders result from exaggerated immunity against normal cells in different organs of the body.
Immunotherapy is the treatment of these diseases and conditions by stimulating, enhancing, or suppressing an immune response.
Aduro’s immunotherapy technologies are uniquely designed and differentiated to modulate both innate and adaptive immunity
The immune system has multiple defense mechanisms; some may be nonspecific (innate immunity) and some are specific and long-lasting (adaptive immunity).
Innate immunity comprises cells and chemicals naturally present within the immune system which mount an immediate and general defense. The innate immune system includes physical barriers like the skin, natural killer cells that attack foreign invaders, and cytokines that signal more specific immune cells to move to the site of invasion. The innate immune system mounts its response immediately, within hours or days.
Concurrently, the adaptive immune response is highly specialized and responds by directly attacking and eliminating the cancer or pathogen, and at the same creating immunological memory. The adaptive immune response includes both T cell-mediated and B cell-mediated components.
Antigen presenting cells, including dendritic cells, activate and recruit the adaptive immune response to react specifically to the threat. Specifically, antigen presenting cells signal specific T cells to proliferate, creating an army of T cells designed to attack that particular threat. Once the threat is eliminated from the body, these T cells remain and circulate throughout the body, protecting it from future similar attacks.
Upon activation (and “help” from T cells) B cells differentiate into effector cells, known as plasma cells. Plasma cells play a key role in the immune system by producing antibodies that can react specifically to the threat. Plasma cells may also become antigen-specific memory B cells to respond quickly to future similar attacks.
Aduro’s immunotherapies are uniquely designed and differentiated to target both innate and adaptive immunity to combat different types of cancer or treat autoimmune and other inflammatory diseases.
Aduro’s technologies are designed to modulate the immune response:
- STING pathway activators are designed to activate antigen presenting cells within the tumor microenvironment, thus inducing the generation of specific T cells against certain antigens specific to each patient’s tumor
- STING pathway inhibitors are designed to reduce levels of cytokines and other factors associated with various autoimmune and inflammatory diseases
- Aduro’s APRIL antagonist monoclonal antibody is designed to suppress plasma cells and inhibit the production of antibodies associated with autoimmune disease.
Aduro’s immunostimulating agents may also be beneficial in treating infectious diseases through immune activation.
The image below explains how the immune response is generated against a cancerous tumor.
1 National Cancer Institute. Website accessed February 25, 2016: http://www.cancer.gov/research/areas/treatment/immunotherapy-using-immune-system